American Airlines made this announcement:
September 20, 2019 marks the inaugural flight of the American Airlines official Stand Up To Cancer Airbus A321 (N162AA) that features 22,627 names of cancer survivors, patients and those we have lost to cancer. Names were submitted by the public throughout the month of July, all of whom donated $25 or more to have their loved one’s name added to the plane, resulting in more than $825,000 for cancer research.
Names include Patrick Swayze, a pilot himself, who was added to the plane by his wife of 34 years, Lisa Niemi Swayze. Among the names is also Tug McGraw, added by his son Tim McGraw, who lent his talent to promote the fundraising campaign in this year’s public service announcement.
To mark the inaugural flight of the freshly painted aircraft, American will whisk away a group of cancer survivors and caregivers from Los Angeles Airport (LAX) to Orlando International Airport (MCO). Upon arrival at LAX, guests will be welcomed by the Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders and mascot Rampage, and, while in flight, will be treated to entertainment by Big Machine recording artist Noah Schnackyand comedian Marina Franklin.
The volunteer flight crew for the inaugural flight all have a connection to cancer. One of the pilots will be American Airlines First Officer Brandon Bailey, who appeared in the Stand Up To Cancer PSA alongside Tim McGraw. Bailey Stands Up for his mother, Machelle, who faced cancer while Brandon was deployed to Afghanistan.
In Orlando, Hyatt will treat participants to weekend festivities by providing guestrooms and hotel experiences for the weekend at Hyatt Regency Orlando. Universal Orlando Resort will host guests to a day at the park and special VIP treatment.
This is the latest phase of American’s multiyear campaign with Stand Up To Cancer. The collaboration has raised more than $8 million for Stand Up To Cancer to help fund collaborative cancer research.
“It’s our company’s mission to care for people on life’s journey,” said Janelle Anderson, Vice President of Marketing at American. “When your family is facing cancer, it can be impossible to get away to focus on recharging and renewing your spirit. This weekend, American Airlines, Hyatt and Universal Orlando Resort joined forces to support Stand Up To Cancer and families affected by cancer to give them a much-needed weekend away.”
“Through this special collaboration, we’ve had the opportunity to deliver on Hyatt’s purpose to care for people so they can be their best,” said Steven Dominguez, Vice President of Global Brands at Hyatt. “We are excited to warmly welcome these VIP guests to Hyatt Regency Orlando and offer a stress-free stay that focuses on their comfort and well-being. This weekend is about celebrating and honoring families affected by cancer, and, alongside our friends at American Airlines and Stand Up To Cancer, we look forward to helping guests recharge and reconnect with one another.”
American’s official Stand Up To Cancer plane was unveiled to American Airlines team members at the company’s Base Maintenance facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma, yesterday. Over three days, Tech Ops – Tulsa team members carefully added 22,627 names to the aircraft exterior.
Once complete, the plane was ferried from Tulsa to LA for the inaugural flight. After the weekend concludes, the American Airlines’ official Stand Up To Cancer aircraft will re-enter American’s fleet.
“We are so honored by the tremendous number of people who participated in this innovative campaign to honor their loved ones and stand up to cancer,” said Rusty Robertson, co-founder of Stand Up To Cancer. “American Airlines continues to be an incredible supporter of Stand Up To Cancer, and we’re delighted that some of these amazing families will have the special opportunity to take this inaugural flight. Their incredible courage and indomitable spirit lift and inspire all of us.” Robertson added, “The critical dollars raised by this incredible campaign will help expand our mission to accelerate the pace of cutting-edge research and innovative cancer treatments to save lives now.”
Beginning today, donors who participated in this year’s campaign can visit a microsite to see the location of their submitted names on the plane.
Flight Attendant Dana Biegel honored her late husband, Capt. John Biegel, by adding his name to the official SU2C A321. See the moment she sees his name on the aircraft in her American Story.
About Stand Up To Cancer
Stand Up To Cancer® (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a division of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by media and entertainment leaders who utilize these communities’ resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, to increase awareness about cancer prevention, and to highlight progress being made in the fight against the disease. As of June 2019, more than 1,600 scientists representing more than 180 institutions are involved in SU2C-funded research projects.
Under the direction of our Scientific Advisory Committee, led by Nobel laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., SU2C operates rigorous competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and ensure collaboration across research programs.
Current members of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors (CFA) include Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Kathleen Lobb, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela Oas Williams, and Ellen Ziffren. The late Laura Ziskin and the late Noreen Fraser are also co-founders. Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., serves as SU2C’s president and CEO. For more information, visit www.StandUpToCancer.org.
Top Copyright Photo (all others by American): American Airlines Airbus A321-231 WL N162AA (msn 6621) PHL (Stand Up To Cancer) PHL (Tony Storck). Image: 947693.
American Airlines aircraft slide show (Airbus):